Perfect?

Perfect?

Question: Is it possible for humans to be perfect here on earth?

Answer: If our measurement of perfection is never misspelling a word, never forgetting a name, or never stubbing our toe, then, we will never reach perfection here on earth. But if perfection is never choosing to consciously, willfully, rebelliously, or consistently disobey God, then yes we can and should be perfect here and now.

Biblically perfect

Genesis 6:9: Noah was a just man, perfect in his generations. Noah walked with God.

Matthew 5:48: Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.

Ephesians 4:11: And He Himself gave some to be apostles . . . till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Messiah;

Colossians 1:28: Him we preach, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Messiah Yeshua.

Colossians 4:12: Always laboring fervently for you in prayers, that you may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God.

James 1:4: But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.

1 Peter 5:10: But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by, Yeshua the Messiah, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you.

Genesis 17:1 When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to Abram and said to him, “I am Almighty God; walk before Me and be blameless.

1 Corinthians 1:8: who will also confirm you to the end, that you may be blameless in the day of our Lord Yeshua Messiah.

1 Thessalonians 5:23: Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Yeshua Messiah.

1 Timothy 6:14: that you keep this commandment without spot, blameless until our Lord Yeshua Messiah’s appearing,

2 Peter 3:14: Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless;

Victorious

The popular theology of today -- that God is not powerful enough to keep us from falling -- did not come from the Bible.

If we don’t believe that He is able to lead us not into temptation, deliver us from evil, and keep us from sinning, then we won’t stop sinning. The whole gospel is a big joke, and we are nothing but hamsters running on a wheel trying to reach a destination we can never reach. But if we believe He is all powerful and came to save us from sin, then yes, by His grace, He will give us victory over rebelliously, consciously, continuously, knowingly, or willfully sinning.

Jude 24: Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy,

2 Peter 1:3 His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, for by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

Will we boast of perfection?

Now if we ever boast that we have reached that state, then we deceive ourselves. We are not to be looking in a mirror to see how good we are today. We are to be looking unto Yeshua to see how much further He can bring us. 

Philippians 3:12: Not that I have already obtained this or been perfected, but I press on if only I might take hold of that for which Messiah Yeshua took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself as having taken hold of this. But this one thing I do: forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal for the reward of the upward calling of God in Messiah Yeshua.

As we compare ourselves with ourselves or compare ourselves with others, we will always feel either inadequate or uplifted, but if we compare ourselves with Him we will always look up to a higher goal.

2 Corinthians 10:12: For we do not dare to classify or compare ourselves with some of those who commend themselves. But when they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they have no understanding.

Growing in Perfection

The perfection God gives us is a growing perfection. By His grace we can be perfect at every stage of development, while always having more areas to grow.

How might you describe a perfect grape vine?  Maybe about 5 feet tall, 7 feet wide, nice green leaves, strong branches, with no signs of disease, filled with nice juicy grape clusters. But if I went to a tree nursery and asked for a perfect grape vine the sales person would come back with a scrawny looking one foot twig in a little bucket and no fruit. I can say, “I asked for a perfect grape vine.” And he could respond, “This is a perfect 1 year old, 1 gallon grape vine plant. It has a strong root stock. It has been well fertilized. It has shown good growth. It has no signs of any disease. And it will produce delicious grapes in a couple of years.”  

Today the Lord might convict me of such and such a sin, something that I did not realize I was doing before, or did not realize was wrong. After His conviction comes upon me, if I choose to rebelliously continue in the sin, it has become a known cherished sin. 

But if, instead, I . . .

  • confess it,
  • accept the Messiah’s forgiveness through His sacrifice,
  • accept the Holy Spirit to empower me not to continue in that sin,
  • accept His victory over it,
  • and walk in His way by His power,

. . . then I am perfect in that area of my life in His sight. 

The next day He might convict me of something else, or I might go through a situation that I have never gone through before; it might reveal something about my character that I did not realize was there. Then at that point I have the two choices: again, to continue in the sin and allow it to become a rebellious known sin, or I can confess it and have the victory.

A first grader can have a 4.0 average and be a “perfect” student, but that does not mean they would pass a college exam. They are a perfect first grader, not a perfect college student. If a college student aced a first grade test, but failed a college test, they would still get a failing grade. Similarly, we are perfect or not in God’s sight based on what He knows we should be having victory over.

We can be perfect first graders, with a 4.0 average, but we won’t be looking at our first grade report card and looking in the mirror. We will be looking at Him who is the only true Master of Divinity, and we will always see that there are greater heights to which the escalator can take us. 

So we can be perfect at every stage of development and still have further for God to take us. Thus we will never say or think, “I have obtained perfection.” We will always be growing in His perfection.

1 Corinthians 10:13: No temptation has taken hold of you except what is common to mankind. But God is faithful—He will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you can handle. But with the temptation He will also provide a way of escape, so you will be able to endure it.

Leviticus 11:45: I am Adonai who brought you up out of the land of Egypt, to be your God. Therefore, you shall be holy, for I am holy.

Leviticus 21:8: I, Adonai, who makes you holy, am holy.

Ephesians 5:27: Messiah did this so that He might present to Himself His glorious community—not having stain or wrinkle or any such thing, but in order that she might be holy and blameless.

Never know, but always pleased and confident in Messiah

We will never know that we are perfect for several reasons. It is impossible for us to tell the difference between temptation and actual sin. How long does it take before a tempting thought is actually a dwelt upon desire? It is impossible to know. The safest thing to do is to confess it as sin. God as judge will decide if it was still just a temptation or if it crossed over to sin. 

Secondly, satan will constantly bring up past confessed sins to our minds, trying to accuse us and make us feel guilty for things that have already been confessed and forgiven. 

And third, as we look to the Lord, He will always be calling us up higher in our walk with Him. Thus we will always feel our acceptance in Him, but at the same time we will know there is still a long way to go between our lives and His sinless, righteous character; again like that 4.0 first grader, confident and happy about their grade, but still knowing that a doctorate degree is still ahead of them.

So while we will never feel or know we are sinless, that does not negate the fact that there is no reason for us to ever willfully, consciously, rebelliously, or continuously be in disobedience to God’s will, His law, His truth. Thus, by His grace and power, He is able to keep us from stumbling and present us before His throne of grace without spot or wrinkle. 

When we truly take this to heart, and allow Him to live it out in us, He can come back for His holy, blameless, virgin bride.

Rabbi Jeff

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